Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bittersweet Update:

Yeah, it's football season again.

God, I love football season. It's not just the games, but the whole football thing. I know rubgy players are tougher and college players "aren't just in it for the money" and those awful professional players are all a bunch of druggie, criminal degenerates. Whatever.

I don't care. Give me the NFL. I love it.

I especially love stories like this.

"Derrick Thomas was the hub of Kansas City for a long time. He played in the days when every football ticket at Arrowhead Stadium was sold before the season even began. Those were the days when Fridays throughout the city were red and when every conversation in every office building and factory and car dealership and shopping center revolved around a football game on Sunday. Those were the days when the parking lot at Arrowhead was one giant barbecue pit, and you could smell ribs and chicken cooking as far as Topeka."

As usual, the Poz puts it just right. The years that Derrick Thomas played were some of the most exciting and "This year, we're going all the way!" of the entire Chiefs regime. Part of that was because we just had good teams and good breaks and good management.

But a bigger part was that we had Derrick Thomas. He was a playmaker. A game-changer. He was the kind of man who, upon stepping onto the field and raising his arms, could get an entire stadium of 78,000 people to stand and scream for three hours straight without staging a single endzone stunt or faux suicide fiasco.

I'm not talking about him as a person, because I didn't know him as a person. I knew him as a football player, and he truly was one of the best -- not just because of his statistics but because of his presence.

You know, my ex and I were in Hawaii for the ProBowl the weekend he died. Because we were in Chiefs red (aaaaalllll weekend long) and from Missouri, we were sort of the official "Have you heard anything new on DT?" consultants for that weekend. We weren't surprised by the multitude of questions or the multitude of other teams' fans that asked them.

And why? Because everyone knew Derrick Thomas. Other teams feared but respected him. Other teams' fans were the same. And when a player like that is hurt, everyone wants to know if he's going to get better.

Sadly, we didn't find out he'd passed until we got home. I was still wearing my DT jersey at the time, and I kept getting funny looks in the airport while Dad picked us up. Couldn't figure out why until Dad gave us the news as we cleared the KC limits on the way back home.

And our defense has never been the same. Hell, the whole team hasn't been the same.

I guess, in the long run, it doesn't matter. With the more vocal and unruly players sucking up the news coverage these days (I won't mention them by name and give them any more publicity than they already have, but you know who I mean), the death and (many years) subsequent induction into the Hall of Fame of one guy who died too young probably isn't that big a deal.

But it is to me. Because I still have that #58 jersey, and I still wear it every game day from August to February.

Rest well, DT, and know that you are remembered. And that the game just isn't the same without you.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dear Charlie:

It's been a while since I did a movie review. There's good reason for that: 's been a while since I saw a new movie. Heh.

I mean, I saw GI Joe just last weekend, but I'm still not sure what to say about that one. I guess... if I'd never watched the cartoon growing up, I probably would've loved it. It's very entertaining. But the characters are pretty wrong, both in backstory and in present, and the lines between them... just... no.

Snake Eyes was awesome, though. The wrong reason for being silent, but hey. I'd watch that whole movie again to watch him and Storm Shadow duke it out.

But this post isn't about GI Joe.

I finally rented three movies I've wanted to watch since I heard they were coming out. Two of them, I want to talk about here. The other one, you ask?

Well, what can I really say about Transporter 3 but that Jason Statham has an absolutely lovely back? The fight editing was a little jerkier this time around, which was kind of annoying, but hey. He still looks awesome doing it.

But no, I want to talk about Mutant Chronicles and RockNRolla. Yes, finally got around to both of them. I am appeased.

Mutant Chronicles is a weird movie. I like weird movies, but honestly, this one just didn't do it for me. I love Ron Perlman and Thomas Jane, and once it really got moving, I was pretty hooked, but it took a loooooong time to get moving. There was plenty of obvious green screen scenery, which I'm chalking up to the low budget not supplying enough sets, but I do like the steampunky feel to it.

Ron Perlman is always awesome to watch, and Thomas Jane was convincing as ever. I'm starting to like Devon Aoki (I'll always hear her introduction in Clive Owens' voice: "Miho. Deadly little Miho."), and Anna Walton was awesome as Brother Samuel's sword-weilding follower who believes in a book she can't even read.

But the run-up was slow, and the end was something of a letdown. Sure, he saved the world by activating the ship, but...it just didn't do anything for me. If it hadn't been Thomas Jane and Ron Perlman, I don't even know that I'd have watched past the first half-hour, and that's kinda sad because the story was an interesting premise.

Oh, well. It may yet end up as a story generator, because steampunk is big right now. Though I am terrible at riding the popularity wave. Heheh.

On the other hand, RockNRolla is fantastic. I think I'm starting to be a Guy Ritchie follower, because I think I'd watch just about anything with his name on it and a British gangster plot. He has yet to let me down there, though I skirted Revolver and that other one.

I don't do serious. Heh.

I seem to remember checking reviews when it first came out and I found out we wouldn't get it around here in theaters and seeing it damned with faint praise. That boggles my mind. I can imagine people hating this flick, but I can't imagine anyone being lukewarm about it. If you get the British humor, and I do, you surely have to love it. If you don't get the British humor, then you'd almost have to hate it. It'd bore you to death.

So how can anyone be half-way on it?

Luckily, I have no such qualms. I love it. Mark Strong is stellar as the "main" character, if you can call anyone in a Guy Ritchie flick the main character. Archy's personality -- his credence, you might say -- lends the entire film verisimilitude. He's serious, but not incapable of finding humor even in the dregs of crime. He's got a past, and while it's hardened him, it's also opened his eyes to the world around him. He's smart, and he's loyal, and sometimes those two things rub against each other, but he handles it all with his Archy panache and his infamous backhand.

And that makes the rest of the cast -- a Guy Ritchie film without an ensemble cast just isn't a Guy Ritchie film -- work. Like Turkish in Snatch, Archy is the catalyst. Archy is the pivot around which the movie turns.

There is, though, the hilarious sideplot with One-Two and Mumbles and Handsome Bob. The crime and the fights and the retributions make the movie, I swear. Great stuff, there.

And there's also the supposed RockNRolla of the title, Johnny Quid. Little pissant, to be honest, but he earns his mustard later in the film. He's just to damn skinny. It almost hurts to look at him.

Of course, he's a junky. He's supposed to be painfully thin and ragged out. Carries it off well. And his speech about life and cigarettes makes him a little less unlikable.

But it's mostly Archy. And a painting you never see. And Russians. And the infamous crawfish torture. And perhaps the best use of a golf club I've seen since Lono in Suicide Kings. Heh.

It's just Guy Richie, and it's all sorts of good times. The jewel in this action movie weekend's triple crown.


Damn. Now I'll have to find a way to buy it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Dear Charlie:

Just when I think I'm being subtle.

See, I love to read. I don't think that's a surprise to anyone. The only thing I like better than reading is writing, so two of my favorite things to do are sit out on my porch swing with a book or go to a favorite restaurant with a book.

But I didn't think anyone really noticed these habits. I'm just another person out on the street, right?

So when my neighbor lady gave me a shopping bag full of books a few weeks back, I just figured she was cleaning out her shelves and had seen me reading out on the porch swing. No biggie, right?


Because I just got back from my favorite Chinese buffet -- order takeout from there, and you're eating three meals for the price of one, I tell ya -- and I have another bag of books to add to my shelves. Yeah. The lady that runs the place brought this bag of like six or seven books several weeks back, just waiting for me to come back in. Because she knew I liked to read.

How funny is that?

I mean, yeah, they great me with smiles and "long time, no see"s and such, but really. The place isn't booming, per se, but they have a lot of customers. A lot of regulars, too.

So how does one stand out enough to warrant such a nice gesture?

Who cares. I'm just thrilled to have that much more to read. Ha!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Furry Sidebar:

No, that's not a typo. I'm all creeped out now.

Just stumbled across a decently-sized furry spider of the wolf spider variety. You all know that of all the terrors of the Earth, I am only afraid of spiders. Nasty, horrible, alien little things. Guh.

Anyway, usually, they're pretty easy to spy because they're on the walls, right? And once I see one, it's dead as quickly and in as laissez-faire a manner as possible. They violated the bargain, after all. You remember the bargain, right? They stay the hell away from me, and I don't murderalize them?

Yeah. That one.

But this one...was on the floor. In the carpet. The carpet is blue -- don't ask; I didn't install it -- but it's a multi-color blue, shading from dark blue down close to the base to almost white at the tips, right? So it's not really a wonder I didn't see this furry-legged, whitish-grey thing squatting a few inches from the French door's jamb.

Man, my foot was probably only like three inches from it for God only knows HOW long before I finally noticed it. I was just talking on the phone to my beloved sister, and happened to look down. And there it was. Crouched and, for all I knew, ready to spring.

Now, I didn't noticeably freak out. I mentioned it to Sis, did the little shuddery thing, and walked away to find the quickest, most efficient form of death I could handle dealing out to this particular species of nasty.

Because, see, of all the spider varieties, I like the wolf spiders least. Oh, I know brown recluses are much more likely to commit a chunk of flesh to necrosis, and damn if they don't move in a creepy, deadly way, but wolf spiders just...creep me out. Worse. I don't know why.

Maybe it's because they're usually big. And furry. And ghastly. And they always seem to be looking at you and...and understanding that you're there. I dunno. They're just evil.

And in the eight years I've been here, I've never seen one inside. So this one really walloped me.

Anyway, I simply grabbed one of the baseball bats and smashed its little daylights out, but now I'm all creeped out. I barely noticed it, after all. What if there are more??

Worse, I went googling for an image to slap up here...and creeped myself out worse just looking at all those godawful pictures of spiders.

Yeah. I'mma have nightmares tonight. No doubt about it.

Little bastages.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Quickie Sidebar:

Thanks to a huge amount of brain-effort by Pesh, my website is up and running and... drumroll please... has content!

That's right, folks. Free reads, news, maybe even some upcoming release information, if Pesh can work her magic on some jpeg files and get them linked up. I have every faith that she can.

Yes. I now call her Web Mistress Goddess Divine.


Okay, just Web Mistress.

Anyway, many MANY thanks to her for being so tenacious in her determination to figure stuff out, because I literally could not have done it without her. Now, go enjoy the cushy new digs! It's conveniently easy to remember at www.mollyburkhart.net.

Because ".com" was taken. The bastages.

Go visit! Web Mistress commands it! *whip-crack*

Sunday, August 09, 2009

My Dearest Charles:

So, my beloved sister just posted recently that she's a bad blogger. She's not. I am. I'm sorry! It's been a busy week!

I finished the kitchen (which is awesome), started the bathroom (oh, my God, the paint is so bad that I might have to go get a better brand and paint over it, though the color is nice), interviewed for a couple of jobs at places that aren't hiring (why interview people if you're not hiring?), and...found out that Samhain Publishing is contracting for one of my books!


So, this year, I'll have a short story coming out in an anthology in October, and a full novel coming out sometime. Dunno for sure when, but as soon as I have details, I'll pass them along. Woot!

Also, because me and Pesh, bless her heart, were up until like 2:00 last night trying to get my stupid website up and running (she totally did all the work; I just supplied usernames and passwords), we got a little punchy. As a result, I now bring you Chapter 2 of The Golden Letter Opener.

God help me.

Hellboy: *on the street* Nice going, Your Royal Assness. You got us all fired.

Nuada: I told you...*breathshudders*...I cannot stop.

Johann: I don't know vy I vas fired viss you all. It vasn't as if I hired you.

HB: Shut it, glasshole, and you, elfboy, you'd better find us all another job quick. Liz gets a little twitchy when she's not working.

Liz: *twitches*

HB: See?

Nuada: I must go to Wink.

HB: ...What?

Nuada: See to my sister. I must go to Wink. He can help. He has always helped me.

HB: Hey, wait! If he can help you, maybe he can help us!

Nuada: *breathshudders* I must do this alone. Leave me! *takes off*

HB: *follows*

Everyone Else: *follows*

Nuada: *dives into sewer grate* Do not follow me!

Everyone Else: *follows*

HB: Dammit, he's a slippery little bastard. Where'd he go? It's like a frickin Skinner Box down here!

Nuala: *closes her eyes and holds out a hand* That way.

HB: Sweet. *stumbles through an archway and stops short* What the--??

Nuada: Oh, yes! Wink! Do it to me! Only you, Wink!

HB: *pales* I don't think we should be seeing this.

Johann: Vas ist das? It's as if vee stepped into an Herbal Essenses commercial.

Liz: *twitches*

Nuada: *writhes* Behind the ears! Behind the ears! Oh, all the gods, you beast, see to my split ends!

Nuala: *blushes* I forgot how handy that biomechanical hand can be. It really does give a good wash. I could use a nice shampooing myself.

Nuada: *breathshudders repeatedly*

HB: *lightbulbs* I just got the best idea EVER.

I blame you, Pesh. Always and forever.

Now, I gotta call GoDaddy and figure out what gives with their "free" hosting. Guh.